Category Archives: Youth

Picnic in the Park


PICNIC IN THE PARK – Sunday, May 16, starting at 6 PM, you are invited to a picnic at Cherry Hill Park. Cedar Hills will be providing hot dogs and hamburgers and leading some group games after the picnic. Click here to RSVP with the number of children and adults coming from your family and plan to bring a side or dessert to contribute to the picnic spread.

Parent Pivoting Summit

Parenting Pivot Challenge
October 8-24, 2020

A unique online event for all parents!  The Parenting Pivot Challenge is a FREE virtual summit October 8-24 that will consist of daily videos posted in the Parenting Pivot Challenge Facebook group.  The videos are dynamic national speakers addressing topics such as anxiety, depression, screen time, balancing work and life, sexuality, and social media. The videos will be posted for free for 24 hours, so check the schedule and see what will best bless your family.

View the Full Schedule

How to Join

Cedar Hills Graduates

JUNE 2020

Cedar Hills Graduates

What a strange and bizarre year it has been for the graduating class of 2020.  We are incredibly proud of all our graduating students would like to recognize them for their well-earned achievements. Enjoy this short video. Be sure to browse all of their honors and achievements below.


Mikayla Bosch

  • Prairie High School
  • Next – Attend the University of Iowa to major in Human Physiology to someday pursue a career in the medical field.
  • “Always be yourself and make the most of every situation.”

Amanda Diers

  • Central Baptist Christian Academy
  • Next – Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Madelyn Funk

  • Solon High School
  • Next – Kirkwood Community Collage
  • “Always choose kindness! Do what makes you happy and what you know is right!”

Zac Goodall

  • Jefferson High School
  • Next – Going to UNI and studying Music Education.
  • “Get involved in school activities.”

Kira Hegg

  • Senior High School – Billings, MT
  • National Honor Society, Presidents Education Award

Alexis Henderson

  • Jefferson High School
    Honors include 2020 Governor’s Scholar Honoree, 2020 Best of the Class, Valedictorian, AP Scholar with Honors, Academic Honors with Distinction, Presidential Education Award, National Honors Society, Volunteer Service Award, J-Hawk Credit Club, Science Department Award, Science Four Year Award, Project Lead the Way Four Year Award, Social Studies Four Year Award, Mathematics Four Year Award, and World Language Four Year Award.
  • Next – I am planning on studying biomedical engineering at the University of Arizona.
  • “Don’t take anything you have during this time of your life for granted because you never know when everything around you will change.”

Brody Joens

  • Prairie High School
  • Next – Dordt University, studying civil engineering/architecture, playing football
  • “Don’t take it for granted.”


Justin Brown

  • Kirkwood Community College – Associate of Arts
  • Next – I am currently a student at the University of Iowa working towards earn a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in general psychology and a minor in human relations while becoming a member of Alpha Phi omega national service fraternity.

Austin Mills

  • Coe College – Biology Major, Chemistry and Spanish Minor
    Graduated cum laude
    Member Phi Beta Kappa
  • Next – Position with Biomimicry Design Alliance
  • “Don’t be afraid to take a winding path to find the college and career path that is the right fit for you. God has a plan and nothing can change that!”

Katlyn Stevens

  • Iowa State University – Bachelor of Liberal Studies
  • Next – Working at US Bank and looking for new opportunities
  • “College goes by fast. Make the most of it.”

Frankline Tshombe

  • Mount Mercy University – BA in Social Work
  • Next – Work as a Child Welfare Social Worker
  • “Maximize your time in college and cherish every moment.”

Hilaire Tshombe

  • Mount Mercy University – BA in Social Work
    Phi Alpha Honor Society
    National Society of Leadership and Success
    Sisters of Mercy Award
  • Next – For now I am a member of RefugeeRise working at Catherine McAuley Center working with diverse population.
  • “The word I have for those entering college is that they must not give up–that nothing comes easy in life. They must not lose hope; they must keep on pushing and one day they will say that this is far they have come. For me to be where I am today, it is hard work.”


Alexi Grave

  • University of Northern Iowa – Master of Accounting
  • Next – I’m starting my career as an Audit Associate at KPMG in Des Moines.
  • “Don’t strive for a perfect 4.0 GPA. Do your best, and make time for yourself.”

Jeremy Van Genderen

  • Western Theological Seminary – Masters of Divinity
  • Next – Ordination and installation as Senior Pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Allison, IA
  • “Always be open to the plan that God has for you.”


How We Continue to Be the Church in Light of COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, we are convinced and convicted more than ever the need to be the church beyond the walls of our physical church building.  While our building may be a bit quieter as we wait out the social-distancing rules, our roles as the hands and feet of Jesus increases that much more.

A couple of unique and powerful opportunities for us to continue as a church:

Open Hands Food Pantry

We anticipate an increasing need for food in the next few weeks.  It is our desire to keep the pantry open and switching over to a ‘drive-by’ solution where pantry visitors stay in their cars and we go out to meet them and bring the groceries to them.  This means we need the help of more able bodies, able to carry groceries (or cart them) to and from the pantry to the front doors.  If you are off work due to the virus or have extra time on your hands, this is a perfect opportunity!  If you are able to help, please email pantry leader Darlene DeVries.

Pantry Hours: Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-12pm, Fridays 10am-12pm


We’ll be both uploading pre-recorded content and streaming our worship services online, and not physically meeting onsite for worship beginning immediately.  Sundays will be live at 11am on Facebook.  Our Wednesday Lenten messages will be pre-recorded and released on Wednesdays with announcements and encouragement! As part of our regular worship, we encourage you to give online via the app or website, or to take time to mail a check.   Please continue to support the ministry of our church!

If you are unable to catch the live feeds, we post all our sermons online. They can be accessed in iTunes, Buzzsprout, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartradio, and on the website. (There is also a button in the Cedar Hills Appget the app!)

Watch Parties

We encourage you to keep worshipping with us on a regular schedule, and taking “Watch Party” pictures of your family or group as you join together to listen/watch online, submitting them in the ‘comments’ of the video feeds.

Facebook Groups

There are couple of Facebook groups we want to draw your attention to that you might like to join. We believe within these groups we can support each other, hear of needs, and respond from what we have! Toilet paper, childcare, meals delivered, etc.  We are especially excited about how we can respond to needs as they arise.

Children Singing Video

The children ages 3 to 5th grade have been working for weeks on a song they planned to sing Palm Sunday.  We would like to collect videos of your child singing along with the song to create a video montage.  The recording and lyrics are here.  When completed, send your video recording to Leah Carolan by March 29 (email, dropbox, ishare… whichever way you prefer!)

Journey Youth

Pastor Steve has created a YouTube channel for the Journey Youth.  He’ll also be touching base with the youth via texts and email.

Zoom Meetings, Marco Polo and Other Video Apps

If your small group decides to forgo physical meetings, consider setting a time once a week where you will all login together for a Zoom meeting or other video meeting app.  Or begin a Marco Polo group and stay in touch via video messages with encouragement, prayer support and community.

Stay Connected

Please call your friends. Check on your neighbors.  Connect with those who live alone and let them know they are not alone.  Respond to needs you hear as best you can! (Or share them with us in the Facebook groups.).  We need each other.


Continue to pray.  Join our prayer chain to lift up others in prayer.  Pray that God would help our lights to shine brightly as we minister to those around us.

Follow us on Social Media

Facebook – @cedarhillscommunitychurch
Instagram – @cedarhillscr
Twitter – @cedarhillscr


Children & Family Ministry Update – Feb. 2020

Children & Family Ministry
Cedar Chips – February 2020

Have you ever been amazed by the wonder of a child? How cheerful their faith seems to be? Or maybe it is how quickly they can absorb what is being taught or modeled for them? All of which are very true, our children are incredibly insightful and relentlessly curious. While the answers are not always hitting the mark, or maybe not even on topic for that matter, but the effort alone is palpable. The beauty of it is, that even if they’re wrong, kids will never stop trying to find the “right answer” or the “right way.”

Unfortunately, there are record numbers of teenagers and young adults that are leaving the faith in the 21st century, why? While there are a myriad of reasons, the most pressing and practical is this: our churches have continually sectioned-off
(intentionally and unintentionally) the various generations from worshipping together. To be clear, it is a very good thing that as a church we are tending specifically to the hearts of our youngest members. But we can’t lose sight, does our “ends justify our means?” What I mean by that is threefold: 1) While it’s common sense, children and youth don’t stay that way for long,
and thus must transition into something at some point; 2) How will our children learn to participate in a corporate worship service if they never get to experience it for themselves; 3) Children tend to learn best from having something modeled for them.

So then, what can we do to help our children? How about a resolution for the New Year? Keep it simple and start small. Designate one Sunday a month for your whole family to worship together for the entire service. That’s step one. Step two—talk about it! Ask your children not only about what they learned, but what they saw and how they felt about it. Even if they spent their time in “la-la-land.” If they know you’ll consistently be asking, they’ll start paying attention. There is no time like the present to begin setting the foundation for a lifetime of faith.

Kyle French
Director of Children & Family Ministry

Open the Door to Jesus Everyday

Last weekend, 30+ middle school students went on retreat on the new Lake View Camp & Conference Center property near Pella, Iowa.  Students were challenged in their faith and encouraged to “open the door to Jesus everyday.”

We are so blessed as a church to be able to send our students to these faith-deepening weekends.  Thank you to the many who support our youth through volunteering, prayer, and financially. We truly believe we are raising up the next generation of believers at Cedar Hills and creating disciples who make disciples.

We have a great partnership with.  Lake View is one of the missions we support as a church and a number of families in our congregation attend camps in the summer with Lake View.  Camp themes range from grandparent/grandchild camp, day camp, Survivor themed camps, and work trips. When Spring comes, we’ll receive a full schedule of Lake View’s 2020 camping program (and we often offer a discount for church members!)

Consistory August 2019 Update

From the Consistory – News and Notes

Our vision as a congregation is to make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life so that every man, woman and child in our community has a daily encounter with Jesus in word and deed.

Our goal as Consistory is to work toward alignment of all our staff and programs with this vision. When Jeremy shared his calling to move to Allison to become the pastor at Trinity Reformed Church, we started our discernment process for seeking a new Director of Youth and Young Adults.

The Search team processed dozens of candidates, interviewed four, and recommended two candidates
to meet with our congregation, youth, parents and youth sponsors. After processing feedback from the
candidate visits as well as references from the candidates we concluded that we had two excellent candidates.

Both candidates loved the Lord, had a passion for student ministry, had successful experience leading and growing student ministries, have built and led ministry teams, communicated well publically, and have developed solid biblical/theological foundations for ministry. Both candidates were well qualified!

When we discussed vision alignment, discipleship strategy, and chemistry we agreed – unanimously – that Steve Poole was the best fit for our ministry at this time. Consistory unanimously agreed with this recommendation and offered Steve the position.

We are very excited for the gifts that Steve brings to ministry. Here are a few of the qualities that led to our decision:

 Steve has a highly relational approach to ministry.

 Steve’s focus on disciple-making, mentoring, and small groups fits closely with our vision.

 Steve has a humble, curious, and teachable spirit.

 Steve is youth culture savvy and also in touch with the latest youth ministry trends.

 Steve has current and past connections with RCA people, events, and culture. (Rocky, Power Connection, Central College, Adventure Life Reformed Church, Lakeview Camp, etc.)

 Steve’s camp experience offers unique opportunities and also represents experience working with younger children.

Please pray for Steve, Cathy, and their children, Abby and Christopher, as they relocate to Cedar Rapids. Steve will begin his ministry here August 11! Thanks to all who helped in this process and thanks for your prayers!!! God has blessed us!